I was so glad that Susan came up with this idea to showcase lovely, healthy, vegetable-filled goodies for Valentine's day. This gave me a chance to come up with some recipes that Daiku and I could enjoy tonight, since we will be apart on the actual holiday! (I have to go to a conference in New York City this week. Booo) Click on Susan's blog, Fatfree Vegan Kitchen, to see other bloggers' contributions to this event.
I decided to play on the theme of "hearts" and "absence"--i.e. vegetables that we don't get to enjoy that often, and came up with these 2 dishes.
Pre-vegan, one of my all-time favorite meals was ceviche, a Latin American dish made of fish or seafood "cooked" using acid such as citrus juice. I noticed that hearts of palm, when sliced, bear a striking visual and textural resemblance to calamari! Try this refreshing and heart-healthy ceviche for a taste and texture experience.
1 avocado, roughly chopped juice of 1 lime 3-4 stalks canned hearts of palm, sliced 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced large handful cilantro, chopped 1 TB dulse, finely chopped (optional) salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together and marinate for a few hours. Serve cold, garnished with slices of lime and cilantro leaves.
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Heart of palm and artichoke heart salad with blackberry balsamic syrup
So many hearts! Add to that the red of the lettuce and blood orange, and the heart-healthy boost from blackberries, and you have got one lovely salad!
5-6 large red lettuce leaves 4-5 canned artichoke hearts, cut in half 2-3 stalks canned hearts of palm, sliced 1 blood orange, peeled and sectioned, juice reserved
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup frozen blackberries, thawed reserved juice of blood orange honey or agave nectar to taste
To make dressing, heat balsamic vinegar over low heat until reduced by half. Different vinegars will vary in how long they take, but your final result should coat your spoon. Stir constantly, be careful not to let the vinegar burn. Take off heat.
Puree blackberries in a blender, and strain juice into vinegar.
Add reserved orange juice and stir. Turn heat back on low, and stir ingredients until combined. If it is too tart for your taste, add a little honey or agave nectar to taste.
Arrange lettuce leaves, add hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, blood orange segments, and drizzle with dressing.
These two dishes, along with some potato salad, comprise our dinner tonight. Tomorrow, I'm off to New York for a week. I will be back to blogging by this weekend.